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5 Aug 2014

Light sentence for £100k benefit thief

A man who is estimated to have defrauded taxpayers by more than £100,000 has paid back money owed to Huntingdonshire District Council and Luminus.

John Bolton, formerly of Springfield, Somersham, had incorrectly claimed £22,462 between 2003 and 2008 as he failed to declare he had married, set up a business and had more than £30,000 in a hidden bank account.

Bolton, 63, now of Torrington Gardens, Loughton, Essex, also sub-let his Luminus property between 2008 and 2013 and claimed £1,466 in Council Tax discounts between 2006 and 2011.

Fraud investigators at HDC, who were tipped off by a member of the public, estimate Bolton defrauded more than £100,000 over a 10-year period.

District Judge Ken Sheraton told Bolton he couldn’t figure out if Bolton was a con-man or just naive.

Bolton, who admitted four charges of benefit fraud, sub-letting and claiming Council Tax discounts fraudulently, was given credit for repaying all the money owed to HDC and Luminus.

At Peterborough Magistrates’ Court he was given a 32-week sentence, suspended for two years due to his ongoing ill health, and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £1,085.

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